The addition of fruit in savoury dishes is always something I have loved. I find offering a fruity element to savoury dishes brings you ever closer to achieving the incredible highs of umami, pairing together the distinct flavours of sweet, sour, salty and bitter ingredients.
The robustness of autumnal fruits is something I look forward to every year. Having ripened in the late autumn sun, pears and apples particularly, are this year sweeter and juicier than ever. Their versatility and willingness to pair with other hardy ingredients has however never faltered, and both these autumnal fruits have long been friends with woody herbs, salty cheeses and earthy nuts, also perfectly in season this time of year.
Although after a mild autumn our british apples and pears need little encouragement, roasting these hardy fruits is the ultimate way to intensify their flavour. This paired with salty, creamy cheese and earthy nuts is something that can’t be ignored during this season.
Even though I put my hands up to being unashamedly biased towards my home county, the crumbly texture, rich, creamy curd and distinctly, blue-veined appearance of Dorset Blue Vinny is something of beauty sat alongside blushed apples and plumps pears. Maybe always a ‘go-to’ pairing this time every year, I can’t help but conjure up another recipe that celebrates this idyllic marriage of ingredients.
Originally a by-product of the lucrative Dorset butter market, Dorset Blue Vinny suffered near extinction in the 1970s as interest in the product depleted in the second half of the 20th century. Thanks to Woodbridge Farm, just a stones throw away from its original home, the Blue Vinny recipe was revived making an incredible comeback on the cheese market.
Made from unpasteurised cows’ milk, this blue cheese has a distinctly deep, acidic flavour yet ever so creamy on the palette. This makes it a great introductory blue cheese to any stilton-sceptics! Enhanced by the sweetness of apples and pears, as well as sticky, cider onions, this cheese really is the cherry on the cake, or should I say galette, when it comes to my latest recipe!
- 2 large red onions
- Knob of butter
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 150 ml dry cider
- 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 1 packet ready-made shortcrust pastry
- 1 large pear
- 1 large apple
- Squeeze of lemon
- 1/2 tbsp oil
- Salt & pepper
- 2 thyme sprigs, leave picked
- 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
- 150g blue cheese
- 50g walnuts, toasted
- 1 egg
- Finely slice the onions and place in a saucepan along with the butter. Cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat until the onions have softened then add the remaining ingredients. When the sugar has completely melted, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 - 15 minutes until thick and glossy. Set aside to cool.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a 30cm circle of 1cm thickness. Place of a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spoon on the cooled chutney leaving a 6cm boarder. Thinly slice the pear and apple and throw in a bowl long with the lemon, oil, salt and pepper and finely chopped herbs. Coat with the oil then arrange the slices on top of the chutney.
- Top the fruit with the roughly chopped walnuts and crumbled cheese before folding in the excess pastry and brushing with an egg wash. Place in a preheated oven at 180/Gas 4 for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and golden.
- Try and choose a less juicy variety of pear for this recipe to ensure there is not too much liquid in your galette.